Discipline is forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do. Life is short, so why would you want to do that? Ah, to succeed, of course. You can’t succeed without discipline, right? Wrong.
“I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?” — Warren Buffett
Why do some people have it all? Free time, great relationships, plenty of money and a bright future — while others put their heads down, work harder than everyone else, put in overtime, take the tasks no one else wants and still don’t get anywhere. It’s because the latter has discipline.
We’ve been taught that if we just keep doing jobs we don’t like that one day we’ll get to where we want to be. Someone else will take care of us, give us that small check every month and the security of knowing that one day, if we live that long, if we never get laid off, if the company continues to do well for the next 20 years and if the stock market doesn’t have any problems, we’ll keep getting that small check and not be able to afford to do much.
Your boss/company’s owners want you to have the discipline to give up whatever it is you want so the owners can continue to have the life they want. Translation: You skip going to your kids plays, you keep putting off that trip you always wanted to go on, you make your dreams smaller and smaller every year because you’re needed at work and just can’t afford it. That takes a lot of discipline to do.
Still Want Discipline?
You know, I’ve never heard a successful person brag about having discipline or even how hard they work. Why? Because the successful focus on working less, being more efficient, and increasing their dollar per hour so they can spend their life doing the things they want. They lack the ability to do things they don’t want to do and focus on finding ways to not having to do them.
Have you ever made $20 an hour? How about $100? What about $1,000+ an hour? Will your job ever give you that? What will your job give you if you’re disciplined and give up what you want for them? Does someone at that company make $100+ an hour? Absolutely. Why is that? Because they hired disciplined people to give it to them. Do you want more so you can work less?
What Does it Take?
Making more per hour and/or working less requires giving up the notion of discipline and focusing on being efficient. How can I do ____ faster? If I can do that faster, how can I pay someone else to do it and keep the extra? That’s how you make $100-$1,000 for an hour of work.
How many hours of work does it take to manage a rental property on an average month? If you have good tenants, automatic rent collection and hire people to fix things, you should spend one hour per rental per month. How much can you make on a rental property? About $1,000-$1,500 a month gross in most places. That’s $500+ an hour if you include appreciation, pay down and profit.
Getting the future you want means making more per hour.
How Do I Get There?
Increasing your income per hour requires you set aside time every day to think and learn about how to do it. Does this mean adding hours to your already busy day? No. It means doing less of the other things so you have the time and energy to focus on your future. Few people spend even a minute a day figuring out how to get the future they want. It makes as much sense as striving to be a famous piano player by not practicing.
Did you know a lot of Japanese executives are required to spend two hours every day thinking about how to do things better? No work, no phones, just quiet contemplation about how their actions impact their success and what they can do better. Warren Buffett spends 80 percent of his day learning and only 20 percent doing. Do you think you could have the future you want if you blocked out time every day to think about what you could do better?
I want you to get out your phone right now. Make an appointment in your calendar that repeats every day with the message, “What am I doing today that will get me the life I want?” This is the only way I’ve been able to keep focused on what’s important.
When the Alarm Goes Off…
Below is a list of questions to think about when that alarm goes off. If some of them make you uncomfortable, then you should ask yourself, “Whose future is most important to me? Mine or someone else’s?”
- “Am I working too hard? When I get home, do I still have enough energy to put towards getting the future I want? Can I put in less effort at work and free up some of my energy to put towards my future when I get home?”
- “I have the most energy in the morning. Should I get up earlier and focus that high productivity time on my future, or give it to my job and let my future get what’s left at the end of the day?”
- “Can I do my work more efficiently so I have extra time during the day to think/learn more about getting the future I want? Years ago, I was efficient enough to finish all of my work before lunch. Other people would get upset when I would spend the second half of the day working on personal things. While they were creating useless memos and rearranging the paperclip drawers, I doubled the income of my rental property and started a new business. They still have the pride of discipline, but I have the life I’ve always wanted.”
- “Should I hire someone to do some of my work and free up time? If it’s repetitive and easy to do, I should hire someone else. While I lose money short term, it gives me the time required to figure out how to do better long term.”
- “Can I automate tasks so I don’t have to do them anymore? Even saving a few minutes here and there on activities can lead to a reduction in stress, more time and more energy to focus on what’s important.”
- “If I have to do mindless work or commute, can I listen to an audiobook or the weekly BiggerPockets podcast? The more you learn the closer you’ll be to your future.”
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” — Jim Rohn
Do YOU believe that discipline is necessary for success? How do you make time for furthering your goals?
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